Monday, January 30, 2012

A Box of Egos: Are They All the Same?

Scott Bradley

Though media interest has relegated the further study of the box of disembodied egos to the back pages of most newspapers and out of the daily news cycle altogether, still this reporter continues to follow their study through various scientific journals, thinking this audience will continue to have a keen interest in developments.

One exciting line of inquiry being pursued is the question of whether all these egos are essentially the same or are there some which have a greater expression of 'egocity' than others. "Although we have been unable to determine to everyone's satisfaction whether these egos are inherently 'evil', or even 'real' for that matter, they do in fact possess observable attributes which we are now hopeful of measuring," said one scientist earlier this month. "We are especially interested to know if there are various degrees of 'egocity' among them or if all egos are fundamentally the same," he added.

The first challenge was to determine what attributes could be successfully measured. "The two most outstanding attributes of these egos are their 'repulsivity' — their automatic exclusion of every other ego — and their 'absorptivity' — their ability to use identification with other egos as a means of further confirming their exclusivity," explained the project leader.

The next great challenge was to figure out how to empirically measure these attributes, and for this a team from MIT was brought in. "It's all well and good to come up with theories," said the team leader, "but it takes nuts-and-bolts engineering to prove them. That's where we come in. And I think I can confidently say that we have built two such devices."

Preliminary results seem to indicate that all egos equally participate in these qualities, though they express them in different ways. "Egos are egos," wrote one psychologist, "and thus we see how ludicrous it is for one ego to criticize another or to suggest that one ego is 'worse' or 'better' than another."

Concerning the apparently contradictory ability of egos to both exclude and yet make use of each other, one biologist has expressed wonder: "Nowhere else in Nature do we see an organism which is both simultaneously parasitic and symbiotic," he writes. "These egos exist for themselves alone and by a mechanism whereby they negate every other ego, and yet they are somehow able to amass in such a way as to further confirm their mutual negation. Their parasitic character is re-enforced symbiotically. They are truly a wonder of Nature."

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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